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Culture Watch: Alfred Brendel's poetry

March 1, 2011 |  9:00 am

Brendel “Playing the Human Game: The Collected Poems of Alfred Brendel” (Phaidon)

The revered pianist, who turned 80 in January, has retired from the concert stage. But that only means Brendel has more time to write his eloquently capricious lyrics, in which he offers his services to North Korea’s singing monkeys, befriends bagels and evokes many other utterly surprising images for a musician famed for his classicism.

Appropriately, this handsome volume of Brendel's collected poems, with facing pages in German and English, has all the elegance fitting a classic edition of verse.

                                                    -- Mark Swed


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